Today’s youth are more spiritual and cooperative than their parents, according to a recent Dallas Morning News article.

The July 20 article interviewed several teens, as well as religion and culture scholars.

“When my friends were kids, they went to church because they had to,” Jessica Gonzales, a high school senior in San Antonio, told the News. “Now, most of my friends are involved because they want to be.”

“Jessica is part of the generation dubbed ‘millennials,’ children born starting in 1982, who researchers believe are more spiritual and less individualistic than their mostly baby-boomer parents,” the News wrote.

The article also cited a 2000 book, Millennials Rising, by Neil Howe and William Strauss. It claimed that the Millennial generation is “upbeat and engaged” instead of “downbeat and alienated,” according to the book’s Web site,

Millennials are “cooperative team players,” according to “From school uniforms to team learning to community service, they are gravitating toward group activity. According to a recent Roper survey, more teenagers blamed ‘selfishness’ than anything else when asked, ‘What is the major cause of problems in this country?'”

Furthermore, “Half believe that lack of parental discipline is a major social problem, and large majorities favor tougher rules against misbehavior in the classroom and society at large,” the site read.

An expert on youth and culture reinforced this Millennial trait for the News.

“Kids are saying, ‘Relativity isn’t what it’s cracked up to be because everything in my life is shifting sand,'” said Kenda Creasy Dean, professor of youth, church and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Howe told the News that Pope John Paul II’s emphasis on service to humanity has impacted Millennials.

“Pope John Paul II, what he’s done with the church has been toward emphasizing that there are specific duties and actions which are incumbent on every Catholic believer to be a good Catholic,” Howe said. “What’s interesting is how that resonates with kids.”

The Pope is currently in Toronto for the 17th World Youth Day sponsored by the Catholic Church.

“Young people from all parts of the world are gathering for the World Youth Day,” the Pope told WYD organizers on Tuesday, Religion News Service reported. “With their gifts of intelligence and heart they represent the future of the world. But they also bear the marks of a humanity that too often does not know peace or justice.”

Roughly 200,000 youngsters from 72 countries have registered for the celebration, according to RNS.

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